Don’t scoff at a 30-minute ab workout. Not only is a short, quick burn enjoyable for clients but with the right exercises, the results they desire can be achieved as well. What’s more, working the core isn’t just about looking great in a bathing suit. It’s also about helping clients build stability throughout the entire body. Core work is beneficial for balance, performance, and even lower back pain, making it important to bring into your client sessions where possible.

If you want to add a quick and challenging burnout to your client workouts, or just need to add some variety into their abdomen programming, don’t ignore this 30-minute ab workout. It will make clients look and feel great and can even be done in the gym or at home. 

Keep Reading: Upper Ab Exercises: Are Washboard Abs Possible?


How Often Should Clients Do Core Work?

It may be tempting to do push ab workouts with clients every day or tack it onto the end of every workout. However, that’s not necessary to see results. In fact, incorporating core work 2 to 3 days a week is a great way to build strength and aesthetic results without leading to injury or boredom. Remember, the core is a muscle group just like your legs and arms so rest days are still needed. 

This 30-minute ab workout is a quick and effective way to bring ab work into client workouts without overdoing it. Even better, all these exercises can be done from the comfort of their own home with no equipment necessary so if you aren’t seeing clients in person, they can still enjoy this workout.

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The 30-Minute Ab Workout

This workout is filled with a variety of exercises to target the entire abdomen while being appropriate for clients of all types and ages. See below for suggested sets and reps, along with a list of each exercise and an explanation for yourself or clients who may not be familiar.

Time on: 45 seconds 

Time off: 15 seconds 

Rest time: 1 minute at the end of each round

Sets: 3 rounds

  • Plank crunches
  • Leg lifts
  • Scissor kicks
  • Bear lifts
  • Bird-dog planks
  • Mountain climbers
  • Side plank dips
  • Bridge marches

Plank Crunches 

This exercise is similar to a burpee but without the final stand and jump motion. Start in a high plank position, hands under the shoulders, core, and quads tight. Jump your feet under your butt and pop your legs back out to plank position. 


Leg Lifts 

Lie supine with your back flat to the ground, a slight pelvic tilt, and your belly button close to the spine. Keep your feet together and lift them off the ground to a 90-degree angle and then lower them back down, keeping your back flat the entire time. You can place hands under your glutes to help achieve a lift if this hurts your back or is too challenging to complete a single rep.


Scissor Kicks 

Lie supine with your back flat to the ground, a slight pelvic tilt, and your belly button close to the spine. Lift your legs a few feet off the ground and cross the left foot over the right and then the right over the left, repeating back and forth for the duration of the time. 


Bear Lifts

Start on your hands and knees, with heels under your butt, and toes gripping the ground. Push your toes into the ground to lift your knees off the floor so they’re about a foot off the ground. Hold, squeeze and release your knees back to the ground and repeat.


Bird Dog Planks 

Get into a plank position, hands under your shoulders and feet out behind you, also shoulder-width apart. Life opposite arm and leg, squeeze and hold, and return, repeating on the other side. If this is too challenging, you can modify it by getting onto your hands and knees and alternating legs and arms from this position.


Mountain climbers 

Get into a plank position, hands under your shoulders and feet out behind you, also shoulder-width apart. Alternate bringing each knee to your chest. You can do this fast, using a running motion or hold the knee into your chest for a few seconds each time. 


Side Plank Dips 

Start from a side plank, hand under your shoulder, feet stacked on top of one another or sitting one in front of the other for greater stability. Dip your hip down to the floor and then brace your core to lift back up to the side plank position to complete one rep. Do this on each side for 45 seconds.


Bridge Marches 

Lay on your back, and lift your hips, bringing heels close to your butt, and keeping shoulders flat on the ground. Keep belly button close to the spine and back flat. Once in this bridge position, drive your knee up to your chest as if you’re marching. Alternate each leg for the duration. 

Keep Reading: Dynamic Upper Body Warmup for All Clients


Work the Core Quickly and Effectively

You don’t need to overdo it to help your clients see progress with their core. Use these exercises to bring a wide variety to your client workouts, allowing you to target the entire abdomen while avoiding boredom. Note that for many of these exercises, you can also add holds, pulses, weights, or resistance bands to intensify the exercise. Whether working together at the gym or helping clients from home, this 30-minute ab workout is a great addition to your programming.